Torture Architect John Yoo Hypocritically Blasts Democratic Party For Violating Constitution’s Intent

In today’s Wall Street Journal, former Justice Department official John Yoo blasts the Democratic party for its “undemocratic” system of superdelegates:

This delegate dissonance wasn’t anything the Framers of the U.S. Constitution dreamed up. They believed that letting Congress choose the president was a dreadful idea. Without direct election by the people, the Framers said that the executive would lose its independence and vigor and become a mere servant of the legislature. They had the record of revolutionary America to go on. All but one of America’s first state constitutions gave state assemblies the power to choose the governor. James Madison commented that this structure allowed legislatures to turn governors into “little more than ciphers.”

Since when did Yoo become so concerned with the Constitution? During his time in the administration, he aggressively urged the administration to push moral, ethical, and legal boundaries:

Yoo was the author of the administration’s infamous torture memo, which argued that interrogation techniques only constituted torture if they are “equivalent in intensity to…organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death.” [Link, Link]


— Thanks to Yoo’s legal work, the Bush administration justified the creation of a new category of detainees: “illegal enemy combatants.” He advised that President Bush did not have to comply with the Geneva Conventions in handling detainees in the war on terror. [Link]

Yoo argued that President Bush “didn’t need to ask Congress for permission to invade Iraq.” The 1973 War Powers Resolution, according to Yoo, is “irrelevant.” [Link]

Yoo helped craft the legal justification allowing the Bush administration to secretly eavesdrop on Americans without court-approved warrants. In 2001, Yoo brushed aside constitutional concerns, stating that after 9/11, “the government may be justified in taking measures which in less troubled conditions could be seen as infringements of individual liberties.”[Link]

Additionally, despite what Yoo claims, the Founders never envisioned “direct election by the people.” In fact, during the Constitutional Convention, “a plan to have the president elected directly by the people was defeated twice.”

(HT: Andrew Sullivan)